Eco-house beyond reach?
Yomiuri is examining the cost and energy-saving effect of eco-houses by looking into a few examples built by "ordinary" people. Hikaru Kobayashi, one of the people Yomiuri highlights works at Japan's Environment Ministry, and he was able to get additional funding from a government subsidy. He has published a book titled "Eco-house in my perspective". In a further move to reduce CO2 emissions, he is proceeding with a rooftop gardening plan.
The Kobayashi household was able to reduce CO2 emissions with 49 percent compared to 1999 (I wish his book was translated to other languages).
Today, in Japan, you can get solar panels at about the same cost as a car:
The price of solar-powered electricity generators went down sharply in the past decade. The price, which stood at an average 2 million yen in fiscal 1994 when the government subsidy system was inaugurated, dropped to 660,000 yen in fiscal 2005, according to the New Energy Foundation.
But it costs a family at least 1.8 million yen to install solar-powered electricity generators. As a result, the generator is still a luxury beyond the reach of most people.
Yomiuri: Eco-home is where heart is / Such houses cut energy consumption, but out of reach for many